“You do not have to be extraordinary to do extraordinary things; everyone of us has the potential to change things.”
She has an exceptional idea: creating a world organisation to support young people's attempt to develop the territories they live in. Today, thanks to the many possibility that Internet provides and the determination of this story's protagonist, this project is changing the face of nonprofit organisations. Connection becomes a medium, a bridge through which skills and knowledge can be acquired and transferred. A winning project that started with 150 Euro and a categorical imperative: dreaming a different world.
ABOUT SELENE BIFFI
Selene Biffi was born in Monza in 1982. Selene, always active in volunteer work, graduated at the Bocconi University in International Economics and Management, and later achieved a master's degree in International Humanitarian Action; she also achieved other diplomas both in France and in the USA.
Selene participated as the Italian representative to the International Youth Parliament, a meeting among hundreds of young people working in the social sector. This experience allowed her to learn more about the needs and emergencies of her colleagues and to start thinking about a concrete way to meet them: providing online training, overcoming practical and logistic problems and even time zones. At22 she founded Youth Action for Change (YAC) the first international organisation for young people managed by young people. There was only one requirement: having ideas and the will to make them real. Young people aged from fifteen to twenty nine provided peer-to-peer training modules but also talks with experts, specific campaigns and networking. Selene's intuition took off from Mezzago and went all over the world, it was even copied by the USA and received important awards all over the world.
Today the platform created by Selene Biffi is used by more than two thousand and three hundred users, in five different continents. Contacts come chiefly from developing countries but tutors are volunteers from all over the world. The virtual office system not only makes communication between staff members feasible, but it also represents an invaluable logistic advantage needed to cut down costs.
But probably the most revolutionary aspect of this system is that now we can look at the nonprofit world with new eyes: “The social sector is finally acknowledged as a talent area, that is a serious, respect-worthy professional area and not as a second-best”.
Biffi's creation brought her more than twenty international awards, from Unicef, Oxfam and the Council of Europe until she was offered the opportunity of presented the project to the United States Congress. She cooperated with Fao, UN, Unesco, World Bank, Amnesty International, AEGEE and several other international NGOs. But despite that she is still strongly bound to one motto: education for action.